Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Musings: Blog break

Hi all,
I'm traveling home today but will only be home for a few days before we leave again. Rather than try to throw together blog posts, I'm going to break until June. Be well everyone.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Can't wait to be done

So, I think I will pay to have my query letter and synopsis professionally critiqued. On May 25 I should get the list of small publishers from the researcher I hired. Then in June, I can begin sending out the package.

I've been taking an online course for writers offered by Jane Friedman. It's very informative and frankly, intimidating and overwhelming. If I weren't 66 years old - if I were 30-something, I wouldn't be feeling this way. But I only have so much energy at this stage of my life, so I might have to relax my expectations of what can happen with this novel in terms of marketing.  I think I'm okay with that.  This was never about making money for me, this writing business. It's always been about needing to put down on paper what my heart and soul need to express.

So I'm evaluating what I can and can't, am willing and not willing do, and we'll go from there.
Anyone else have issues with the marketing aspects of being a writer?


Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Musings: Oklahoma City

I didn't expect to like Oklahoma City. I thought it would be ultra conservative and cowboyish and well, not sure what I thought, but I was very pleasantly surprised. We went to visit our niece and her family and hubby's sister and her hubby were visiting as well. We have two grand-nephews, one we'd met when he was one year old and the other, who is two, we'd yet to meet.

The kids were adorable. We attended the older one's soccer game in which he scored seven goals. These were four-year-olds. So cute.

We also went to the memorial at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing of the federal building in 1995. Very powerful memorial. At one end is a granite slab with the time of 9:01.

At the other end the time of 9:03, with a serenity pool in between. The chairs represent each adult and child who died, all 168 of them. Many smaller chairs (for a child) had stuffed animals on them. It was very moving to be there.

The city was vibrant with energy. Lots of galleries and neat shops. Great food. Lots of ethnic diversity. 

Glad to be home, though. Awaiting notes from copy editor. Can't wait to put the finishing touches on my novel. Still working on my query and synopsis. Yuck!

How are all of you?

Friday, May 8, 2015

at peace

We lost our beloved Buddy this morning around 3 am. About 1 am he had a seizure. By the time we got dressed and into the car to go to the emergency vet, he stopped seizing, but couldn't stand. We knew it was time for him to go, but no matter how prepared you are, you're never prepared to lose a loved one.

Buddy was 13 1/2 years old. We got him when he was one. He gave us nothing but love. Despite diabetes, thyroid problems, going deaf and blind and various other issue, he never stopped being the loving being he was.

The loss of his spirit in our home is huge.
Thank you, Buddy, for the gift and blessing you were in our life.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group - May

I shared yesterday that I've finished the major writing and editing on my first-ever novel. Now it's being copy-edited. I'm not expecting any more major re-writing needs. When I knew I was done, fear reared it's ugly head and I found myself on a the biggest self-doubt, self-hate trip I've been on in a very long time. My friend and editor said, "Of course you're scared. You're about to launch your baby into the world."

I touched on this in yesterday's post. No one who hasn't written or tried to write a novel can understand the feeling. I was crying when I got into bed that night and my husband said, "Can you just celebrate the fact that you did it. You wrote a novel. How many people can say that?"

I couldn't. Because so much effort has gone into making this a reality for the past 7 years, that it isn't enough for me to just say, "I did it." I have to get it out there. And that's the fear. Is it good enough? Will anyone want to read it? If they read it, will they like it? Yada yada yada.

Then I got sick. I was exhausted, so it doesn't surprise me. I pushed so hard those last few weeks of April, working day and night to meet my goal. There's also an empty hole once you complete a big project. That hole will be filled with the work needed to bring this book to publication, but for now, it's just empty space.

I know this community will support me and help ease my fears as I enter this next phase of the project. Thank God for Alex's vision of creating this support group. Thank you, Alex. To find others in this group, please visit Alex at http://www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Telling the Truth Tuesday: aftermath of book

As most of you were meeting the challenge of completing the A-Z blogging event, I was meeting my own challenge of completing my debut novel manuscript by my birthday (4/24). I did it. It's now in the hands of a really fine copy editor (my first editor was more of the big picture -- characterization, plot issues, timeline problems, etc.).

In the meantime, I'm taking an online course with Jane Friedman, MBA for writers to bring myself up to speed on where publishing is now since I published my memoir in 2009.

I'm also working on my query letter and synopsis and will probably pay to have those critiqued as well.

My plan: to feel as if I've done everything I possibly can to get this book out in the world in the best way possible.

The aftermath: I got really scared when I typed "The End." I don't think anyone who hasn't attempted to write a novel could possibly understand what goes into doing it, especially if you've been a non-fiction writer your whole adult life. It is one of the hardest, if not the hardest thing I've ever done. And my fear is that I haven't done it well enough, but I know many writers feel this way. I'm not alone.

More on this in tomorrow's IWSG post.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Musings: Happy May!

Congratulations to all of those who completed the A-Z challenge. I'm traveling home today from seeing family we haven't seen in awhile, so I'll catch up with everyone tomorrow.
Till then...